The new Banksy?

I’m drawn to any news item that lurks in that Venn diagram space between art and activism, but I’m totally baffled as to why John Vidal of The Guardian is calling the mystery person who broke in an dshut down the Kingsnorth Power station yesterday – apparently cutting Britain’s CO2 emissions by 2% for four hours – “the new Banksy”.  Does that make anyone with a pair of wire cutters an artist? This would, of course, open the door to the Michael Stone defence becoming widespread. Michael Stone is, as you will recall, the convicted paramilitary murderer who was arrested trying to burst into Stormont armed with a gun and pipe bombs to murder Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, but justified his act by claiming it was “performance art”. And, as several performance artists from Northern Ireland pointed out last year, such designation would not be a Good Thing.

Photo: CEOs from RSPB, WI, Christian Aid, Oxfam, Friends of the Earth, WWF,
Tearfund, Greenpeace and Ashok from the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition
get together at Kingsnorth to protest the building of a new coal power
station, Oct 6 2008. Thanks to Stop Climate Chaos Coaltion for the picture.